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Valentino Rossi to quit MotoGP effective immediately

In a shock decision, 9 times world champion Italian rider Valentino Rossi has announced his retirement from MotoGP effective immediately. He will no longer contest the 2014 MotoGP championship and it is rumored that Pol Espargaro will now take his place alongside Jorge Lorenzo in the Yamaha Factory team.

Rossi's snap decision follows a heated weekend meeting with Yamaha team principal Lin Jarvis where an ultimatum was issued and new team arrangements were announced. The meeting was also attended by Yamaha president Hiroyuki Yanagi, CEO and President of Bridgestone Europe Franco Annunziato, and Rossi's long time partner Alessio Salucci.

Rossi described the new arrangements as "unacceptable", which are said to include the construction of a wall in the team garage, as requested by team mate Jorge Lorenzo, and the invocation of a performance clause in his contract.

Lin Jarvis threatened to invoke the performance clause because Rossi had not met his commitment of a win at the opening round in Qatar. Although he fought his way valiantly from 10th position on the 4th row of the grid to battle for 1st position with current title holder Marc Marquez, he eventually succumbed to Marquez's skill and placed second. Lin Jarvis then invoked the performance clause when Rossi complained and accused Franco Annunziato of bias.

As development adviser for Bridgestone, Rossi considered he should have been given preferential treatment with special overnight tyres, as he had with Michelin. When it was revealed that ALL factory riders were given the same choice of tyres for Qatar's race a heated argument ensued that could be heard downstairs in the corporate carpark.

Rossi stormed out of the meeting late on Sunday afternoon and refused to answer questions from reporters who had gathered outside Yamaha Motor Racing's European headquarters in Gerno di Lesmo (MI) Italy. After travelling to his ranch in Tavullia on Monday where he was met by a press contingent, Rossi and Mr Salucci brushed past them refusing to answer any questions and locked themselves inside.

>hey emerged early this morning with Valentino calling a press conference to make his announcement. When asked what the future held for Valentino Rossi now he smiled, adjusted his cap and said he intended to marry his childhood sweetheart in a civil ceremony in Las Vegas and together they would open a world-wide chain of pizza and pasta restaurants called simply "VR46". He also hinted he had been developing a special sweet using a combination of sour grapes and humble pie.

In other news, Jackie Reeves is said to be devastated.
 

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I have to admit I read the first post, quickly clicked on the article and read it wide eyed... only to come back and read the second post and remember the date.

I'M NOT GULLIBLE!
 

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Ha ha mot...E...GP ha ha funny

This is funny.

When asked what the future held for Valentino Rossi now he smiled, adjusted his cap and said he intended to marry his childhood sweetheart in a civil ceremony in Las Vegas and together they would open a world-wide chain of pizza and pasta restaurants called simply "VR46". He also hinted he had been developing a special sweet using a combination of sour grapes and humble pie.
 

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The Italian MotoGP™ star returned to Yamaha at the beginning of 2013 of course and last year he achieved six podiums including a win at Assen, followed up by a great race ten days ago in Qatar to finish second at round one – after a thrilling battle with current World Champion Marc Marquez.

Rossi has stated for several months that his level of competitiveness in the early rounds of the 2014 season would be key to his decision to remain in MotoGP™.

Having run Marquez so close at Losail he told Sky of his 2015 plans, "I think I will renew with Yamaha. I never had the idea of quitting, I feel in good form and above all racing gives me immense pleasure. It’s the most enjoyable thing in my life, I love this world and I love the lifestyle which comes with being a MotoGP™ rider, training hard and traveling the world. As long as I am competitive I hope to continue."


He then went on to add, "Now it’s key to see how competitive we can be in Texas and in Argentina and see if we really are at a better level than in 2013. Last year the Qatar race went well but this year the second place was an even better performance in the race. I’ve ridden at a good level throughout my career but now it is more difficult. We have to be very competitive and we know that winning the World title again is really hard, but if we're near the front every Sunday that is fine."


Asked what was the favourite bike he had ridden in his career, Rossi responded, "I have ridden so many beautiful bikes, Aprilia, Honda and Ducati. But my favorite bike is definitely the Yamaha M1!"
When quizzed on who he thinks will win the 2014 MotoGP™ title, Rossi stated with a smile, "I think Marquez will be the World Champion again, and I’ll try to give him a little luck."
 
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